Welcome to Le Beau Paon Victorien! I'm so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wedding Pillow Sham

Just to show you that sometimes it takes me forever to finish projects...here's the perfect example. Erik and I were married in April 2007 and I bought this embroidery project, an Anna Griffin wedding pillow sham, not long after we were married. I intended to work on it after all the craziness of the wedding was over, to place on our bed.  But that didn't happen, obviously! I worked on it a little bit right around our first wedding anniversary, then put it aside as I did other things. Long story short, I worked on it bit by bit, here and there,until I finally finished it last week.
This was the first time I worked with ribbon embroidery. I also had to figure out a way to transfer the letters from the pattern to the fabric. I ended up using dressmaker's paper, or tracing paper. I considered embroidering the date of our wedding on it also, with leftover floss, but I wasn't sure where to place it without ruinung the overall design, so I didn't.
It looks right at home on the bed with the others!

Thanks for stopping by!
I'll be linking to White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

White Wednesday: White Pedestal Sink with New Fixture

Erik was so buoyed by his "plumbing success" replacing our ugly kitchen faucet (with a little help from his much more handy friend, Chris) that he decided that he would replace the faucet in our upstairs bath...by himself! Click HERE to read the post about the kitchen faucet.

He was so proud of himself, I think. He managed it very well and had no difficulties.

The faucet we had on this sink was leaking very badly; it started with just an occasional drip, but over the last week or so it was getting worse. We looked for replacement parts, but there's no brand name on the faucet. I imagine it was just some cheap thing that the previous owners put in (they were very fond of cheap stuff.)
I don't think I have a close up picture of the old faucet, but it was kind of ugly.

This one is so pretty! It has a very similar style to the one we chose for the kitchen. A very vintage looking style, I think!

Thanks for joining me!
I'll be linking up with Faded Charm for White Wednesday.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Meet Olive

Today we brought home a new kitty to join our cat family. Her name is Olive. She's a 1 yr old female tortoiseshell. We adopted her from the Humane Animal Welfare Soceity.
She was having such fun playing with the rug on the bathroom floor. Her previous owners named her Mocha, but we decided to give her our own name. I think she looks like an Olive.  Her arrival is coming at a good time for us; we lost our two oldest cats last fall ( both to cancer) and we recently received news from our vet that my sweet Tia, who is 14 yrs old, has epithelial carcinoma, which has metastasized to many of her organs and she doesn't have much time left with us. Although Olive is not meant to replace my Tia ( nor could she), I think her arrival will bring some much needed joy into our house and will remind me that there will be more cats to love in my lifetime and no matter how hard it is to say good-bye to an adored and beloved pet, the time we have with them is worth it, and there are others that need our love just as much.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Sunday Lunch and Stroll

Hello fellow bloggers!
I've been exceedingly busy these last weeks and I've not been able to visit all the blogs and post comments as much as I would like to lately! I'm hoping that things slow down a hair for me soon, but we all know how it is sometimes!!!
Hubby Erik's band has so many shows booked in the next few weeks that it's unbelievable! As his personal super-fan, wardrobe consultant, roadie and drum tech (and sometimes light show operator!), I am as busy as he is when the band has lots of shows.
We are also dealing with medical issues with one of our cats, my sweet Tia, and it's been hard. We've been thinking of adopting a cat to add to our cat family for awhile now, since we lost our two oldest cats last year, and I think we may have found the perfect addition. I'll be sure to introduce her, if it all works out, of course.

But enough of that stuff......

Today we enjoyed some nice summer weather with lunch and a stroll, trying to decompress from a long and busy day yesterday. Erik's band had a show in a town about an hour away from where we live, which meant that after the show, which finished at 1:30am, we had to pack up the band and equipment and drive an hour back home, so it was about 3am when we got in.
We started out with lunch and coffee at the 'Sprizzo' cafe, which is in the historical downtown area, a few blocks from our house.  Although we have lived here for nearly 4 yrs, this was our first visit to Sprizzo. They have live music also on weekends.
This is our usual coffee and sandwich haunt, 'the Steaming Cup', which is located in the historic Nickell building. The Nickell family were one of the first pioneering families of this town to settle here in the 1840s and the following generations of the family were very prosperous. W.A. Nickell was a jeweler and watchmaker, and this was where his store was located. I believe the town post office was also originally in this building too for a short while.
On the opposite corner is the 'People's Park' bar and restaurant, and several potter's shops. There are a great deal of art galleries and such in this part of town. They often refer to this part of downtown as the 'artisan district'.

This photo I took about a month ago during Freeman Friday Live,(and outdoor free music event that takes place downtown) but this is pretty much how 'People's Park' always looks on evenings; it's very popular. Erik and I have dined there and met friends there several times ourselves. They have a wonderful tilapia sandwich and heavenly sweet potato fries!
The historic Almont Building is one of my favorites. It houses an art gallery now. They recently replaced the fabric awnings, but I'm not sure I like them as much as the old ones.
Following our lunch at Sprizzo, we sat on a bench across from the Almont Building and discussed what we don't like about the new awnings. Erik and I agree it's the red stripe that borders the darker brown stripe! (not really very visible in these photos).  We had also been admiring some of the art displayed at Sprizzo, and discussing what we like and don't like about art. Not surprisingly, Erik enjoys surrealism, while I prefer the 'old masters' more than anything. It was nice to relax and chat.
I love to sit in the dappled shade and watch the patterns change when the wind blows through the trees!
When we resumed our stroll and headed for the Fox River, I took pictures of other things that I love to look at; like ivy clambering up a stone wall, and the sun winking through the green trees.
Or a yellow painted bicylce turned into a garden planter which was outside Otto's, a artist's studio down the street.
Otto's also has this darling little patio behind it with a gorgeous fountain. A yellow rubber ducky floats in the middle urn.
The riverwalk is lined with green hydrangeas.

Banks of cheerful yellow rudbeckia................
Are complimented by tall, stately purple coneflowers.

Thanks for joining me!
I'll be linking up to these parties:

Summer Sunday with The Tablescaper
Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Glitter Gulch

It's Wordless Wednesday! Shhhhh!!!
Click HERE to visit WW....

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Was a Winner!

Back in May, I was the excited winner of a giveaway from the wonderful Martha at Lines from Linderhof.

I received my lovely and wonderful prize in early July, but I didn't post about it right away (mostly because I was reading the book and then my husband was reading it too!)

So, here it is finally;

I won this delightful book, Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens: A Year 'Round Guide to Growing and Using Herbs and Vegetables.

This vintage book, published in 1971, was written by Mary Mason Campbell.

This wonderful  little book is a treasure trove of information and suggestions, including how to plan, plant and care for your kitchen garden, how to capture herbs and vegetables at their peak flavor, and how to store, freeze or dry your herbs for year 'round use, as well as how to start seeds indoors, transplant, compost, and also companion plants for your kitchen garden. There are also sweet illustrations, quotes and other interesting information about the history of kitchen gardens, and the various uses of herbs throughout time.
I love that the previous owner of this book left me lots of little notes all over the book! It's obvious the person who owned it also got a lot of use out of it!
"What signifies knowing the Names, if you know not the Natures of Things?" --Poor Richard's Almanack

I'm so thrilled that I won this lovely book! Thanks again to Martha at Lines from Linderhof for choosing this book as her giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Breakfast Alfresco Redux

I thought I'd re-post this so I can link it up to a new blog party that I heard of from Style Sisters.
It's the Weekend Porch and Garden Party, hosted by First a Dream.
Check it out and join in the fun!

After a couple of weeks of very hot weather that was also drenchingly humid, the humidity finally broke yesterday and we were rewarded with a pleasantly warm summer day with a nice cooling breeze.

Although today seems a bit warmer and slightly more humid, the earlier part of the morning was still cool enough to tempt me to have my breakfast outside.

The term alfresco literally means 'in the fresh air' or 'outdoors'. Dining alfresco in the summer is a delightful change, whether at a charming cafe or restaurant that has outdoor seating, picnic, BBQ or just in your own yard.

One of the large projects that Erik and I hope to do for next summer is put in a patio and pergola in this area. Right now, all I have is this little seating area with my Adirondack chairs and table that my father made in his woodworking shop (it's his favorite hobby now that he's pretty much retired). Behind the chairs are three very HUGE weigela bushes. I prune them every fall and spring, but they continue to get bigger and bigger. Unfortunately, they will have to be removed when we do the patio.
I set my little table with a lacy white table runner, and used some of my blue transferware. I also took the faux flower arrangement that was on the kitchen table and brought it outside.
A lovely muffin, fresh-baked, in a white paper liner with a sweet ruffle on the top. I found these Wilton ruffled cupcake liners at Michael's awhile ago.

Coffee in a pretty cup and saucer that was a recent find. I've also used my good Godinger flatware, and a pretty blue tea napkin.
I always have a little cream in my coffee; today I'm using my hand-blown crackle glass creamer jug that I bought at the old Jamestown settlement near Colonial Williamsburg,VA.  I'm also having another favorite breakfast treat of mine; yogurt with fresh fruit (blackberries today) with some honey to sweeten.
It's the perfect breakfast setting to sit and read a new issue of Victoria magazine.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have an enjoyable start to your day!

I'll be joining these blog parties:
Summer Sundays with The Tablescaper
Tabletop Tuesday with Marty at A Stroll Through Life
Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Show & Tell Friday: "Presentation to the Queen" Doll

A few Show and Tell Fridays back, I showed a few of my lady dolls. This week I am showing another one; like the others, she was bought some years ago from Franklin Heirloom Dolls. I believe I bought this one in the mid-1990s.
To see my Marie Antoinette doll, click HERE.
To see the 'Gibson Girl Bride' doll "Gemma", click HERE
And to see 'A Night at the Opera in Paris' doll, "Eveline" click HERE

She didn't have a name (like the others), so I named her "Margaret". This doll was called "Presentation to the Queen".

She has beautiful green eyes, and curly dark auburn hair.

Her gold jacquard taffeta ballgown with a tulle overlay has a daring decollete neckline, trimmed with gold lace.

She is posed with her head and gaze slightly inclined, her gloved hands have gathered her voluminous skirts in preparation to perform a proper curtsy.

Margaret must be a lady of importance to be meeting the Queen and if she was being presented at court wearing a tiara and a dress that was not white, we can assume that she is married.
In the Victorian Era, there were fewer exciting experiences for young women than presentation at court. To be presented at court, she had to be of a higher rank, and she had to be "sponsored" by another lady who had been previously presented at court herself; preferably her mother, but any older woman of impeachable respectibility and high rank could be a "sponsor". Divorced women were not allowed to be presented at court.
There were rigorous rules and dress codes for presentation. Preparation for the event took weeks; learning to perform the proper curtsy was most important and most girls took a class on how to do it properly.

Unmarried girls usually wore a white gown, with a full train and usually a tulle headdress with some kind of feather adornment. It was not uncommon for women to have their wedding dresses altered into a court dress. Queen Victoria hated small feathers, so three large ostrich feathers, arranged in the 'Prince of Wales' plume was the mandated headdress during her reign. Court-dresses were short sleeved and it was absolutely mandatory that the dress be low-cut.
Cloaks, shawls, capes or wraps were absolutely not permitted to be worn.
Married women were allowed to wear more color, but they usually chose softer, muted colors for their court dress and they wore a tiara instead of a tulle headdress and feathers.

The excited young ladies and their sponsors lined up outside St. James' Palace on presentation day, and waited for hours in their carriages for their turn to enter St. James' Gallery, where they waited again until they received their summons.
The ladies were lined up in the Gallery in order of precedence; that is, based on their rank and the importance of their father's titles and then they were ushered into the Queen's presence. When it was her turn to be presented, the lady handed her card to the Lord Chamberlain, who would announce her name, and she would move forward to the Queen's throne, which was usually on a dais in the middle of a very large drawing room, surrounded by other royalty.
The lady would perform her full curtsy, praying she would not trip on her train, and that her feathers would stay in place, and would kiss the Queen's hand. Afterwards, she would rise, perform the full curtsy once again,  genuflect to the other royal persons in attendance, and would have to exit the room by backing out, but not before reaching behind her to gather her ten foot train and drape it over her arm gracefully. With one more curtsy to the Queen, she then could back out of the room step by step and the ordeal would be over.
Practicing a graceful exit backwards was just as important as learning the proper full curtsy; it was the height of impropriety to turn one's back on a royal personage.

This short ceremony, which took weeks of preparation, allowed young un-married ladies full membership into fashionable soceity and the "Marriage Market" and all it's priviledges. Presentation at court allowed fashionable ladies to attend court functions, balls and parties without which they would have been excluded.
Margaret's court dress has a bodice adorned with gold lace and pink ribbon roses. Small sparkly jewels that match her necklace are also on the bodice.

The skirt of her dress has pink ribbon roses, gold braid and gold lace to match the trim on her bodice.
When she raises her dress to do her curtsy, just a hint of her pretty ecru lace trimmed petticoat shows. She also wears shoes with pink bows.
Her pearl tiara matches her earrings and necklace.

Thanks for stopping by!
I am joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday!